Regrowing

ˌrēˈɡrō/ verb/ gerund or present participle: Regrowing "to grow or be grown anew or continued growth after an injury or after having died or withered"

Confidence

So, last night I had quite an amusing conversation with a couple friends after campus church. (which btw was amazing and you should itunes it under Liberty University, then campus church)… Anyway, somehow we started talking about confidence and one of the girls pointed out I don’t struggle with that. I just busted out laughing and was like “clearly you don’t know me…” which caused her to seriously STOP and just look at me for a bit, then she asked… “Do you struggle with confidence all the time?” That little statement got me thinking…

What is confidence?.. Dictionary.com says that it’s “noun – full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing.” Nowhere in that statement does it indicate that can’t include a nervous feeling too…

Because here’s the thing, I act confident virtually all the time because I do believe in my God, my abilities, my education, my training, etc..etc.. but, that doesn’t mean that inside I’m not nervous about meeting someone new or re-meeting someone I’ve only met once and have no idea if they’ll remember me or being in a situation where I don’t know what to expect. I get nervous for those things, but when push comes to shove I’ll act despite my feelings.

A couple examples…

Meeting a complete stranger. I’m not talking about randomly bumping into someone and being nervous about it, I’m more talking about being somewhere like Sunday school and seeing a new person.. Essentially I have two options.. ignore them as if I don’t see them or act like I don’t realize I don’t know them… or introduce myself. I virtually always choose to introduce myself. Why? Because chances are they are feeling awkward and nervous too.. and since I’ve been going long enough now I pretty much know who the new people are, which means they probably don’t know anyone/many people. I’ve never once had someone be rude when I’ve gone out of my way to introduce myself… Virtually every time that I can remember it made a significant difference to them that I did that, and you can usually see their comfort level increase.. It’s pretty cool 🙂 But, regardless.. I still feel nervous about it, I just choose to act anyway, as though I don’t.

You see I’ve begun to realize there are always going to be those uncertain feelings, but people who give into the uncertain feelings are never the people who change the world. It’s the people who rely on what they know to be true that change the world.. They are the ones who realize, God is good and always there for you, you have the training/experience to back it up, sometimes just letting go and going with it can be the best most freeing solution…. and to experience those things you begin to realize it’s not ever as bad as we work it up to be in our mind.. haha.. wonderful!

Another prime example…

Going to Ghana Africa over Thanksgiving. Let me detail out for you the process by which things happened (or in a lot of cases didn’t)… I met Gl0ria (who was planning the trip) in the middle of October on the roof of a house we were helping to re-roof. We just carried on general chit-chat, until we began talking about missions trips.. she told me how she was going to Ghana Africa for the week of Thanksgiving.. and my response “I’m more than a little bitter that you’re getting to go and I’m not…” so she responded “Come with me. Seriously we’re meeting tomorrow to discuss finances..” So I told her I’d think about it and we’d go from there… The next day I met with them and met Jon (one of two guys going).. we talked about the trip and they both acted as though I was going … Then I found out I had to decide by Wednesday (with it currently being Sunday).. ooooh dang.. So I began praying like crazy, called my dad and asked how I could give it to God in such a way that he would either clearly say yes or clearly say no. God clearly said yes. So I decided to go with 6 weeks til take off, and no actual money in my hands.. or anyone’s hands actually. We needed $8,000 as a team and had roughly $0.. haha.. oh man. We did a few fund raisers, our first one brought in over $600!.. Then things kept coming up like needing a yellow fever shot.. which we found out a week in a half before we were to leave.. Monday (we were heading to Maryland Thursday) we got the shots.. but still had no visas.. and technically no passports either cause they were with the visas in Washington D.C… Oh, and as of Monday we had roughly $5000 of our needed $8000.. and have I mentioned yet that I hadn’t met the guy leading the trip, and had only met Matt the other guy.. twice. How do you not feel nervous about a trip in a country you’ve never been to under these circumstances?

Literally THE DAY Jon and I were leaving (we were heading to Maryland the night before our scheduled departure day to stay with his family so they could take us to the airport), we got our passports and visas in the mail! I had to leave for Amsterdam 2 hours before the rest of the team (which at this point I still hadn’t met the guy leading the trip) because our travel agent for whatever reason didn’t schedule me at the same time.. Once in Amsterdam I for some reason couldn’t communicate that I needed to know where the rest of the team was flying in and kept getting sent to the wrong gate (although according to them the plane was either already in, or delayed 2 hours!)… Again how do you not feel nervous about a situation where you are hours from departing to Ghana Africa.. have NO idea who your contact person is, or what the plan is at that point, and every time you ask the front desk about the rest of your team.. you get a different answer. I had no choice but to act confident.

After 3 unsuccessful tries I was in line again to once again try and explain what my situation was.. and I look down the hall and see Jon walking towards me. haha The wave of relief I felt is really hard to explain, I’m fairly certain he doesn’t even understands how happy I was to see him! We hugged and exchanged stories about how excited we were and how he knew where to find me and what I was doing.. He took me back introduced me to Wayne who was leading our trip, and it was at that point that it was explained to me we would be doing evangelism in Ghana… no actual service project. Hmm.. ok, let me explain to you how completely unlike me it is to do evangelism… I NEVER feel comfortable doing it. I sorta feel like I should do something for them first to earn the right to tell them about my Jesus. But, nope that wasn’t included in the itinerary… Haha.. Given that I’m already in Amsterdam, 3 hours from departure to Ghana for a week, I essentially have two options…

1. Act nervous and make others nervous. Bring up all the things I am unsure about and not confident about… potentially risking putting that in the heads of the people around me…

or…

2. Act confident and pray a lot about the fact that I didn’t like the idea that we were planning “crusades” and I didn’t know how to evangelize the Ghanaian people.

And the great thing is, I’m so glad I went because it changed my life forever. I am simply not the same person. I would do everything over again, I would go again or do something as equally scary just to experience anything close to what I did. God was so good.. but I was nervous and uncertain the whole time.. but I chose to act as though God was moving my steps anyway.. and I’m so thankful I did 🙂

You see, outwardly I seemed confident and I seemed excited. But, inwardly I was sooo nervous and scared that things were gonna turn out terribly. But you see, the bottom line is it’s out of my control anyway. It either will or it won’t work out, either way God’s got it.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23

So, if you ever wonder.. chances are I feel nervous, or uncertain, or scared, or have butterflies in my stomach, but I’ve realized that all the great things that are worth anything in life require me to act anyway. That’s what makes them feel so great once you’ve done it, because you didn’t know if you could, but then it happened and God showed up and it’s amazing 🙂 And sometimes acting confident is what someone else needs to see… and that too makes it worth it… So, a lot of times I act confident not because I am, but because the other choice isn’t really a choice at all, but a way of living in fear of what “might be” and since my God is so big.. why would I choose to live in fear?

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This entry was posted on February 5, 2009 by in Africa, Confidence, Ghana, God, Hebrews 10:23.
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